Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

First match of series will be England’s 1000th Test

First match of series will be England’s 1000th Test

But if the current prolonged hot weather in England continues, the upcoming series may well be played on dry and dusty pitches, more akin to the surfaces that are found in India, rather than traditional green English seamers. England now are at number five with 97 rating points and can jump to number two surpassing South Africa (106), Australia (106) and New Zealand (102) with a 10-point rise to 107 points, reducing the pre-series gap with top-ranked India from 28 points to just five points.

"I won't get to the stage where I am left out at say, Lord's, I'd go back and play county cricket... you stay part of the unit so it's only natural to expect small changes throughout five Test matches, but the bowlers have to be able to take it".

"He has led India in so many Test matches, so I don t think he will have any pressure now as far as leadership is concerned".

If England make a 5-0 sweep, then they will jump to second on the table with a 10-point rise to 107 points, reducing the pre-series gap with top-ranked India from 28 points to just five points.


The Indian skipper has insisted he is not concerned about his personal performances against England, hitting out at critics for putting the spotlight on his 2014 failure.

To commemorate the occasion, Jeff Crowe, former New Zealand captain and member of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, on behalf of the ICC, will present a silver plaque to England and Wales Cricket Board Chairman Colin Graves before the start of the Test. Anderson said the Indian captain was "telling lies" by saying his own runs do not matter.

"As a bowling unit, we will just have to make it as hard for all of their batsmen to score early runs, but particularly a key player like Virat". That's one of the great things about world cricket now. It doesn't work like that.

But Cook senses that at 30, and after the sustained white-ball improvement which persuaded national selector Ed Smith that Rashid may be worth a punt in England's 1,000th Test, the Yorkshireman can cope with the spotlight.


England's other challenge is translating the form and confidence of the one-day side to the Test arena, something Buttler can appreciate better than most.

"We are not anxious at all, because both are really quality batsmen", said India s Ajinkya Rahane of his top-order colleagues.

India vs England, 1st Test: What should India's top order be for Edgbaston?

"Virat is singularly focused on this England series. They have strength in depth in their pace bowling", said Cook ahead of the first Test beginning here on Wednesday. He would know himself that he needs to score here.


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